“Cops are on the run, we're not ready for Sentinel Sten 2”

News » Arab-Israeli conflict

The State Comptroller of Israel published a report on the failures of the law enforcement forces during Operation Sentinel Sten in May 2021.

Report characterized as “extremely hard and disturbing”. The most important and ominous conclusion of the report is that the lessons from what has happened have not been learned and the country is not ready for Sentinel Sten-2.

Since May 2021, cops have been leaving the system en masse, those who remain have very low motivation, while the top is busy “getting off” from liability for other incidents, such as the Mount Meron disaster. As a result of the Meron investigation, Northern District Chief Shimon Lavi has resigned, while Israeli Police Chief Yaakov Shabtai has to defend his reputation and his position within the police is precarious.

Ynet correspondent Yossi Yeshua writes: “A month ago, I asked the head of police operations Sigal Bar-Zvi directly whether the police were ready for Sentinel Sten-2? I got an honest answer: We're not ready to give a comprehensive answer to the next Wall Guardian. We do not know how to respond to events of this magnitude, and we do not have the necessary resources at our disposal.

The same picture emerges from the report of the state comptroller, and from conversations with the heads of police stations and police districts. After the Guardian of the Walls, the police did not grow, but, on the contrary, they shrank, the police “run” into civilian life.

The State Comptroller's report indicates that 15% of the detained Arabs have a criminal past. This threat must be adequately assessed and appropriate action taken against it. We need to start as soon as possible, because this is a long-term process.

This is not about big money – half a billion shekels a year as part of a multi-year program. It is also necessary to change the very concepts of the work of security agencies, and better coordination of actions between the Shin Bet and the police. The IDF can help, especially with the use of reserve battalions. Prime Minister Bennett decided at the time that a national guard should be created – and a man was appointed last week to lead it. Today, Prime Minister Lapid should “shake” Shin Bet, “overslept” the beginning of the pogroms in 2021. The top political leadership must begin a radical restructuring and rehabilitation of the police – not only to fight crime, but also to ensure the national security of Israel.

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